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Position Title: Dean
Department: Ira Brind School of Theater Arts
Reports To: Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs and Operations

The University of the Arts seeks a visionary and collaborative leader to join its team as dean of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts. The new dean will play a key role in formulating and enacting strategies to position the School of Theater as a global leader for unique and distinctive programs reflective and inclusive of diverse ideas, people and perspectives. Sensitive to the needs of the field and its future, the dean will advocate for intelligent change by modeling flexibility and openness to experimentation without sacrificing a commitment to rigor and excellence. The dean will lead a diverse and energized theater community that is aligned to the university’s mission of advancing human creativity.
As the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts’ chief academic, creative and administrative officer, the new dean will work collaboratively to advance the work of the Brind School across the university —an institution home to seven schools with programs in art, dance, design, film, music, theater, and creative writing. Possessing a deep and abiding belief in the catalytic power of the arts to better the world, the dean champions the interconnectedness of the arts across all disciplines, and serves as a leader that inspires, challenges and elevates the school’s context both within the university community and beyond.   

The dean will also serve as the producing artistic director for the Brind School, and demonstrate the capacity to elevate the school’s work and reputation by identifying and cultivating strategic partnerships, both institutional and individual.
The Ira Brind School of Theater Arts currently comprises undergraduate programs in Acting; Directing, Playwriting + Production; Musical Theater and Theater Design + Technology; and graduate and certificate programs in Devised Performance. The faculty of the Brind School are accomplished working practitioners and theater professionals devoted to preparing our students as citizen artists.

The school is situated in the center of Philadelphia, which is one of the nation’s largest thriving artistic communities on the Avenue of the Arts. University of the Arts is home to six professional performance venues, a production shop, costume shop, design studio and lighting lab as well as countless studios, galleries and multi-use spaces. Our campus enjoys close proximity to more than 100 theater and performing arts companies within the city.
The dean will lead the Brind School in alignment to the University’s mission in the following ways: 

  • Advances the work of the school through building and maintaining academic programs of excellence that best serve our students, and works collaboratively with faculty, staff and senior leaders
  • Devises, maintains, and supports best practices for the continual assessment of those academic programs and strategic initiatives to ensure their continued success and strength
  • Inspires, challenges and motivates students, faculty and staff
  • Ensures transparency and openness within school procedures and communications
  • Leads the school in both creative and scholarly research relative to the field
  • Serves as a thought-leader of the University, serving on President’s Council, Council of  Deans and other committees
  • Leads and oversees the recruitment, retention, growth, mentorship and continual evaluation of Brind School faculty
  • Builds a culture of inclusion in the casting and staffing of students, and hiring of faculty
  • Leverages existing resources through the strategic management of the school’s budget
  • Demonstrates knowledge and interest of University academic programs outside of the Brind School, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as the activities of centers
  • In coordination with the offices of Advancement, the Provost and the President, develops an advancement strategy for the continued growth and support of the Brind School
  • Supports program directors’ collaborations with constituents across campus, to work towards the University’s new student recruitment goals. 

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the incumbent; they do not purport to describe all functions.  Incumbent may be assigned other duties, and the essential functions may change from time to time as necessary.

Significant experience and successful accomplishment as a leader in higher education or of a major theater, cultural center or arts center is required. Prior experience as a faculty member, program chair, or director of a major center is expected, with prior experience as a dean preferred.

The University is particularly interested in reviewing applications from candidates whose identities and/or professional work intersect with or address historically marginalized communities. 

Bachelor’s degree is required. Exceptional experience may be considered in lieu of a terminal degree.

Required Competencies, Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Extensive knowledge of theater arts and its future, as well as expertise in at least one specialty required 
  • Possession of an insatiable curiosity
  • Empathetic listener
  • Direct and transparent communication style, capable of building trust and rapport with a broad array of faculty, students, staff and alum
  • Devoted mentor, constantly seeking ways to further enable others to excel 
  • Administrative prowess including effectively managing one’s own time and the time of others, as well as demonstrated capacity for managing resources through detailed budget oversight
  • Adapts to changing work environments, work priorities and organizational needs 

This position reports to vice presidents for academic affairs and operations, which together lead the Office of the Provost. 

Application Instructions: 
Review of applications will begin on December 6th and will continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, please have all materials submitted by this date.

To apply please submit your curriculum vitae, three references, and a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the leadership profile including how you have worked to advanced diversity within your current role to jobs@uarts.edu. Please ensure job title is in the subject line. 

About The University:
University of the Arts mission is simple: to advance human creativity.  A leader in developing visual and performing artists and designers, University of the Arts has educated generations of innovative artists, performers, designers and creative leaders since 1876.  UArts believes creativity is the most essential skill for success in today’s society.  After being granted university status in 1987, University of the Arts became the largest institution of its kind in the nation, offering programs in design, fine arts, media arts, crafts, music, dance, theater and writing.  It now features 30 undergraduate arts majors, 30 minors, 15 graduate programs, and the nation’s first PhD program in Creativity. UArts is home to innovative centers across disciplines, including the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, and the new Center for Immersive Media launching in November 2019.  Our nearly 1,900 students study and create on our campus in the heart of Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts, the city’s cultural center, within walking distance of hundreds of galleries, museums, theaters and other performing arts venues. Learn more about UArts.

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